Western Red Brewing moves one step closer to becoming Poulsbo’s fifth brewery

POULSBO—Western Red Brewery, LLC received its conditional use permit from the city on Nov. 15. The owners are Marianna and Paul Smyth. It marks the venture’s latest step toward opening a brewery and tap room downtown at 19168 Jensen Way NE, Poulsbo, adjacent to Westside Pizza.

When it opens, the brewery portion of the property will occupy 4,702 square feet. The tap room, with room for approximately 97 occupants, will occupy another 1,552 square feet.

This is Poulsbo’s fifth microbrewery. The others are Sound Brewery’s brewery and tasting room on two sites on Viking Avenue, Rainy Daze’s brewery and tasting room on Bovela Lane off Viking Avenue, Slippery Pig’s brewpub in downtown Poulsbo, and Valhöll Brewing’s brewery and tasting room on 3rd Street, near City Hall.

This means Poulsbo now has one brewery for every 2,042 residents, putting it clearly in the running for the title of “Numer En Øl Byen” (“Number One Beer City”) among Kitsap’s municipalities. (Kingston and Silverdale have microbreweries, too, but those communities are not incorporated.) The coming of Western Red means Poulsbo now has more microbreweries than it’s big sister to the south, Bremerton, which has four.

“It makes Poulsbo a destination port,” Slippery Pig Owner Dave Lambert said when he was interviewed for an earlier article on Poulsbo microbreweries. “Beer tourism is a coming thing.”

Valholl Brewing co-owner Katie Holcomb also said in an earlier interview, “It’s taking [Poulsbo] from a Norwegian fishing town to a go-to hot spot.” She said breweries contribute to Poulsbo’s diversity. “We’ve got water, mountains, hotels, restaurants, arts and crafts, breweries — we’ve got everything,” she said.

Mike Montoney, owner of Rainy Daze Brewery that opened in Poulsbo earlier this year, was also upbeat about a fifth brewery coming to town. “I’m sure it’s going to draw more people from the other side over,” he said. “You’ve got such great diversity here; nobody brews the same way. On weekends we get so many people going from one place to the other sampling the different beers,” he said. “I sure like being here and I’m sure they will, too.”

Worker at Rainy Daze Brewery in Poulsbo checks the tank in preparation for final hopping. (Terryl Asla/Kitsap News Group)

Worker at Rainy Daze Brewery in Poulsbo checks the tank in preparation for final hopping. (Terryl Asla/Kitsap News Group)